Forward Networks was founded in July, 2013 by four Stanford Ph.D.s with extensive backgrounds in networking and software architecture and who had done pioneering research in Software Defined Networking (SDN).

Since then, they have grown with executive leadership and development expertise from many of the leading companies in the industry including Apple, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Juniper, Microsoft, Riverbed and Zscaler.

Management Team

David Erickson
Co-Founder and CEO

David holds a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford. He is a contributor to the OpenFlow spec and the author of Beacon, the OpenFlow controller at the core of commercial products from Big Switch Networks, Cisco, and others, and open source controllers such as Floodlight and OpenDaylight. His thesis used SDN to improve virtualized data center performance.

Brandon Heller
Co-Founder and CTO

Brandon received his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford. Involved in OpenFlow before it had that name, he served as main editor of the spec for three years, seeing it grow from an academic prototype to a real tool for industry. His more recent projects include energy-efficient data centers (ElasticTree) and flexible network emulation (Mininet). Read Brandon’s interview with Authority Magazine.

Denis Maynard
Chief Revenue Officer

Denis Maynard joined Forward Networks in 2019 as Chief Revenue Officer. His core initiative is driving growth and revenue acceleration for the company. Prior to joining Forward, Denis held senior executive roles at Illumio, Ruckus Wireless, Omneon and QLogic.

Nikhil Handigol

Nikhil is a Computer Science PhD from Stanford. As a member of the Stanford team that pioneered SDN/OpenFlow, his research focused on using SDN principles for systematic network troubleshooting (NetSight), flexible network emulation (Mininet), and smart load-balancing (Aster*x). Previously, he worked at SDN Academy, ON.Lab, and Cisco.

Peyman Kazemian

Peyman received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford. His dissertation showed novel ways to troubleshoot and verify the correctness of networks. Previously, he created and taught SDN Academy courses, worked at Google and Ericsson, and was part of the team at Stanford that developed OpenFlow and SDN.

Yasser Ganjisaffar
VP Engineering

As VP of Engineering, Yasser oversees all the engineering efforts. He joined Forward Networks in 2014 as an early employee and led the team that scaled the computation core of our product by 1000x in five years. Prior to that he built large scale search infrastructures in Facebook and Microsoft. He holds a Computer Science PhD in the information retrieval domain.

Lisa Garvey
VP Marketing

As VP, Marketing, Lisa is responsible for building awareness and creating demand for Forward Networks’ groundbreaking solution. Prior to joining Forward, Lisa served as VP, Marketing at Mojo Networks, leading to their successful acquisition by Arista Networks. A Silicon Valley veteran, she has held senior marketing and IT roles at startups and larger enterprises, including Netscape, Pelican Imaging, and Rambus. Lisa earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Santa Clara University.

Chiara Regale photo

Chiara Regale
VP Product Management

As Vice President of Product Management, Chiara is responsible for product strategy and business development. Prior, Chiara was a Director of Product Management for the Insieme business unit at Cisco. She has also held various senior management roles at Riverbed and Cisco, focusing on product, go-to-market and business development strategies.

Steve Pace
Head of HR

As Head of HR and Recruiting, Steve is responsible for all people-related activities at Forward Networks. He joined the company in 2015 and has led the teams responsible for employee growth and engagement. Prior to joining Forward Networks, Steve held various management roles at Silicon Valley companies including Cloudera and Facebook.

Tyler Olsen
Head of Finance

As Head of Finance & Accounting, Tyler is responsible for overseeing the financial actions and financial reporting of the company. He joined the company in 2018. Prior to joining Forward Networks, Tyler held various leadership roles in industry as director and controller and in public accounting organizations, as manager at a Big-4 accounting firm where he served start-up, high-growth, and mature high-tech and manufacturing companies in the Silicon Valley and mid-west USA. Tyler holds an active CPA license and an MBA from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.

Forward Networks' David Erickson wins 2019 Silicon Valley Business Journal 40 Under 40 Award.

” The objective of David Erickson’s company is fairly esoteric, but its client roster is proof that its benefits are wide-ranging…”

Read the article

Backed by Top-Tier Investors

Forward Networks is backed by a group of leading investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Threshold Ventures, Goldman Sachs, and A.Capital.